My Confessions of a Megalomaniac were my 2020 aspirations. How did I do? Not too shabby I reckon, despite “the Virus”.
Summary of the Year
I like spaghetti westerns and when writing this I came over all Clint Eastwood. So my year in 2020 as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
The big winners this year were Crossfire and Tilly’s Very Bad Day. I could have categorised my year as Crossfire, Tilly’s Very Bad Day and other stuff. But I put so much energy into those two game systems they warrant more than one project each. In fact I give them three each. Crossfire gets the Year of the Rice Paddies and the Italian Campaign. For Tilly’s Very Bad Day I branched away from the Thirty Years War into the English Civil War and my first eastern army, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
As always there were some projects that I thought I’d d something on but didn’t. This is my megalomaniac aspirations from the start of 2019 and how I did on each:
- All >> Wargaming >> Any but mostly Crossfire, Big Base DBA/HOTT, and Operational [Covid-19. Say no more.]
- Various >> Jungle >> Crossfire [Some progress]
- TYW >> Version 2 >> Tilly’s Very Bad Day [Done]
- TYW >> Field Fortifications2 >> Tilly’s Very Bad Day [Some progress, but not on the website]
- TYW >> Scenarios >> Tilly’s Very Bad Day [Quite a few]
- TYW >> Saxons >> Tilly’s Very Bad Day[Some progress, but not on the website]
- WW2 >> Operational / 2nd Kharkov >> Deep Battle [Oh no!]
- Italian Wars >> Italian Wars >> new Rules [Oh no!]
- WW2 >> Soviet Tank Riders >> Crossfire [Oh no!]
- Biblical >> Battle of Kadesh >> Big Base DBA [On no!]
- WW2 >> Kiwis in Italy >> Big Base DBA [Some progress]
- Portuguese Colonial War >> African Huts >> Fogo Cruzado / Crossfire [Oh no!]
- New World >> Conquistadores >> New World DBA [Oh no!]
- WW2 >> Ruins of Stalingrad >> Crossfire [Some progress, but not on the website]
- Arab-Israeli Wars >> 1967 Arab-Israeli War >> Crossfire [Oh no!]
- WW2 >> Italian Campaign >> Crossfire [Some progress]
- New World >> Sinhalese / Malay >> New World DBA [Some progress]
- WW2 >> Burma >> Crossfire [Some progress]
- Vietnam >> Anzacs >> Crossfire [Some progress]
Well, we have to talk about the Pandemic. It sucked. Okay, my wargaming woes pale into insignificance compared to the death of a million people and economic disaster. But the pandemic did reach my hobby and, since this blog is about my hobby, I have to mention it. We played only three games since the pandemic hit in March. That isn’t a lot. Aside from the fact wargaming is all about playing, and we didn’t, I also missed the social aspect and hanging out with Adam, Chris and Jamie on a regular basis. So rather than playing I did a lot of planning/preparation. Much of that planning reached my website but not all of it, so some of it you’ll see in 2021.
Crossfire still dominates my thinking. Aside from a general interest, I have a couple of sub-projects: Italian Campaign and Rice Paddies.
In terms of Crossfire in general, I finally did a piece on Crossfire Probabilities: Percentage Success in each Die Roll Mechanism. I also had a bit of a think about Assaulting Bunkers in Crossfire – Possible House Rules which resulted in Balagan Bunkers – New Crossfire house rule.
#2 Year of the Rice Paddy (Crossfire)
I declared 2020 the year of the rice paddy. I had plans for Vietnam, Burma and Portuguese Colonial War – all of which feature jungles and rice paddies.
I’ve been doing some planning for the Burma using Crossfire. Mostly orders of battle so I know what figures/models to buy. I started with a 14th Army Battalion – Order of Battle in Crossfire. But then I had a look at Commandos in the 14th Army in Burma and realised the order of battle would have to change.
I’ve settle on building two battalions for the 14th Army: one Welsh and one Gurkha. But these guys will need some armoured support so I did a bit of research to Choose my Anglo-Indian tanks for Burma.
I quite like the idea of a Gurkha battalion so thought I’d write up some of the actions by 17 Indian Division, which had a high concentration of Gurkhas. That resulted in Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong – Gurkhas on the Imphal Plain 1944.
Portuguese Colonial War
I also updated my Portuguese Painting Guide for the Portuguese Colonial War by adding an infographic.
#3 Italian Campaign (Crossfire)
I have big plans for Kiwis in Italy – Steven’s Wargaming Project.
It is quite fun digging into some specific details. Like Planning my New Zealand Carriers In Italy for Crossfire.
And then there is the matter of Kiwi Vehicle Names in WW2.
But I haven’t been able to do any gaming as I don’t have the figures yet. However, Bruce Stewart shared his Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – A Crossfire Scenario (Bruce Stewart) and Two Battle Reports.
Of course Kiwis were not alone in Italy. I’ve also got plans for a Moroccan Tabor in Italy, which needs a Moroccan Tabor in Italy – Crossfire Orbat.
#4 Tilly’s Very Bad Day
It was a big year for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. For a start I finally published a stable version with Version 2 of Tilly’s Very Bad Day. The stable version meant it was worthwhile putting together a Quick Reference Sheet for Tilly’s Very Bad Day and also making it available as a printed copy (see How to get a paper copy of Tilly’s Very Bad Day).
Doctor Phalanx (Richard) encouraged me to release scenarios for Tilly’s Very Bad Day and I’ve reasonably well this year:
- Small Lutzen Scenario and Battle Report
- Small Fleurus Scenario and Battle Report
- Small Herbsthausen and Battle Report
- Small Kircholm
- Small Lutter Scenario (Roger Calderbank)
That gives me a good collection of small scenarios. Small armies on a small table.
But I wanted more. Historical scenarios take a bit longer to put together so I thought I’d have a go at Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenarios for All Ages. And using that post as a basis I converted a few scenarios from commercial scenario books to Tilly’s Very Bad day:
- S01 Attack on a Prepared Position
- S10 The Important Bridge
- S12 Fighting Across the River
- S140 Dominant Hill
I’m very grateful to Roger Calderbank for play testing a couple of these – see the comments on S12 Fighting Across the River and S140 Dominant Hill. Roger also contributed his own scenario, Small Lutter Scenario.
Leading up to version 2 I did some Musing on Sequence of Play in Tilly’s Very Bad Day. More recently I was Musing on Unmounted Cavalrymen in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.
English Civil War (Tilly’s Very Bad Day)
My major contribution was writing Populous, Rich, and Rebellious, an English Civil War Campaign. The campaign is based on Peter’s English Civil War Campaign for One Hour Wargames. You can find it in two formats: HTML and PDF
I have also written one scenario: Small Boldon Hill.
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Tilly’s Very Bad Day)
The Eastern Armies – Poles, Cossacks, Transylvanians, Tatars and Ottomans – appeal to many, so not surprisingly people started asking whether they will work with Tilly’s Very Bad Day and if not, what changes are necessary. To be honest I didn’t really know which lead to my Spitballing on Eastern Armies in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.
I figured I should collect one of the Eastern armies to help me experiment (any excuse) and chose the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth because they stood up to the Swedes and, of course, they had Winged Hussars. Come on, Winged Hussars!!!
So I did some research on the Army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th Century.
Then I looked at potential Polish-Lithuanian Orders of Battle Converted to Tilly’s Very Bad Day and Mused on Polish Winged Hussars in Tilly’s Very Bad Day. I still don’t have definitive answers but I’m edging towards something.
Finally I wrote a scenario to use when play testing with the Polish Winged Hussars: Small Kircholm – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario
Of course there are always some distractions thrown in. Things I call “minor projects”.
Turbans and Tricorns
Adam Landa put together a set of rules now called Turbans and Tricorns. Lovely figures fighting it out in India during the Seven Years War. We played a couple of test games and you’ll probably see more of this in 2021.
New World DBA
I read a couple of books and put together a Sinhalese and Tamil Army List for New World DBA.
Engle Matrix Games
Searching for Rules for Ancients
We tried Triumph! again in our Four Player Big Battle Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars. But we didn’t love it.
Searching for Rules for Horse&Musket
And I published my Horse and Musket Crossfire – Crossfire for the Horse and Musket Era. I wrote this years ago and figured I may as well put it out there rather than leaving it on my hard drive. I’m unlikely to take it further.